So… when we last left our
villains (I mean our blog post)….we had succeeded in cutting out a hole for the new sink. Which now needed to be narrowed considerably.
To accommodate the narrower sink, we needed to build up the sides and apply the concrete overlay to the newly-built up edges. In order to allow for feathering in the concrete overlay, we had to grind down the existing edges.
Once both sides were sufficiently ground down, it was time to build in the support layer for the areas we were filling in. To do this, we sandwiched planed pieces of wood underneath the concrete overlay which cantilevered out as supports for the new edges we were building. Now we could lay down the new surface and attach them with glue and screws. Now – fitting the sink in required notching the corners of the edges to allow the apron to wrap around it.
Now we are finally ready to prep for the overlay! This involves laying down a single layer of diamond mesh cut to fit and screwing it in place. When cutting the mesh, use tin snips and think of ‘pinching’ out the joints in the mesh rather than cutting as with scissors.
Be generous in your screw placement here – the mesh plays an important role in strengthening the thin layer of concrete in the overlay. You want good adherence between your surface and your overlay.
Now comes the messy part! Mix your concrete mixture – I used bonded topping mix which has a little bit of elasticity and seems to work well for the overlay. Follow the package instructions and mix to the consistency of thin pancake batter. Work fast through this section, this material sets up very quickly!
Working the overlay is much like icing a cake – pour, spread and fill in the area as evenly as possible. Don’t be afraid of mistakes here – you can always grind and sand your way out.
Eventually, it will look like this….
You may need to add additional layers of concrete to ensure it is even with the existing countertop….
Once cured, sanded and sealed with a concrete sealer, you are ready to install the sink! First the support brackets. As we were installing into our existing non-IKEA cabinets this was a process of much trial and error to figure out where the brackets needed to be placed.
Next up – a long process of grinding and fitting the edges to get the sink to fit into the space.
Now – time for a little ‘joy of plumbing’….This was the existing drain – we were going from a two-hole sink to a single drain. We also needed to ensure that the dishwasher plumbing was still tied in.
Aligning with the new drain was key, as was keeping the flow as simple as possible. Three trips to Home Depot later and the realization that 1 and 1/2 inch doesn’t necessarily mean 1 and 1/2 inch later we finally had it figured out. Installed the drain into the sink (carefully! It’s a ceramic sink!) and the drainpipe.
Now build up from the other end of the drain….
Follow the instructions for your ABS pipe glue – this is relatively straightforward but don’t skip any steps here or there’ll be leaks!
Tie in the final pieces and attach the dishwasher hose….and test for leaks once you’ve allowed your adhesives to dry.
And that, as they say is a wrap! Here’s some pics of the final product, once cleanup happened….and we cut down the cupboard doors to fit. We ended up using command strips to hold the small trim pieces in place on either side of the sink after adhesive failure. Our climate is VERY dry here and many adhesives won’t work long term. I’ll fill you in later on how the command strips have held up….
So despite all the mess, and sanding and fitting and re-fitting, I’ll consider this one a win. The sink is as wonderful to use as I’d hoped – holds my largest cookie sheet and casserole dishes with ease. For short people, it means no bending over and straining to reach. The new faucet is a dream as well – really glad we went with the two separate taps on this one.